Monday, November 28, 2011
DIY Advent calendar
Two Advent crafts in one day?? Yes, folks, Advent is my favourite time of year.
Do you find it annoying that most commercial Advent calendars run only through December (ie., don't actually start at the beginning of Advent) and are distinctly un-penitential (eg. the chocolate factor)? Then this is the craft for you!
You will need:
30 little match boxes (they sell them at the Dollarama, $1 for 10 boxes) (or get 40 if you want to do through Epiphany - not shown here)
a sheet of white paper or a sheet of purple construction paper
water colour paints
white craft blue
a black pen, preferably not ballpoint
ribbons, glitter, etc. to decorate
It's dead easy: empty the match boxes (keep the matches!) and glue them together 5 x 6, as pictured - I glued them all the same orientation, and with the drawers up, but no one will be the wiser if you didn't take the time to orient them all the same way, and you can fix the drawers later if need be. Glue the vertical stacks first, let dry, then glue the stacks together horizontally.
If you have no construction paper, paint the white paper purple. Cut a strip to fit around the box - you will need two strips. Glue on.
Fix the drawers (make sure they're all open side up). Paint the back of the drawers purple.
On the front, write "First Sunday" on the top left drawer. Go through horizontally, left to write, writing the initials of the days of the week ("M", "T", "W", etc.) to help you keep track. Write out the Sundays through the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fifth Sunday box can just read "Sunday". (Remember, Christmas and Advent are not always on the same days every year - this will ensure that you have a drawer for each day of Advent and can be used every year, though you will also have extra drawers - not a bad thing!)
Paint the fronts of the Sunday drawers bright colours (I used red, yellow, green, blue, and orange). Paint the rest purple.
Decorate as desired.
Your box is done!
Now what to put inside?
You can do this different ways, depending on how many kids you have, etc. First, you should look at your calendar to see when Christmas falls to harmonize everything. You can have your spouse make you a wishlist of loving acts (baking cookies, massages, finally sewing his shirts, etc.), write them down on little strips of paper, mix them up, then put them into random drawers so you'll be surprised each day. If you have kids old enough to participate, you can decide together on a wishlist of good deeds, including things like caroling, visiting grandparents, volunteering at a nursing home, etc., and again, mix it up, or you can plan it strategically. You might also want to plan any special prayers in here. You can have a structure (for example, I am reading Ezekiel this Advent, so I have assignments every day; you might want to say Vespers from December 17th on to pray the O Antiphons), or you can choose short commitments and mix it up (praying a Rosary, saying various litanies, saying part of the Divine Office, etc.). However you do it, the idea is to open the drawer and get your little Advent assignment for the day.
These drawers are also big enough to accommodate small candies for Sundays, if you wish (small Camino singles would certainly fit, as would cinnamon hearts, maybe Jolly Ranchers, etc.).
Enjoy and have a blessed Advent!
at 12:20 PM